I don’t miss you. I don’t miss the sad little girl with braces and curly brown hair. I don’t miss the nights you spent crying, wondering where you went wrong. I don’t miss the way you used to blame yourself for everyone else’s problems. I don’t miss the way you used to overly apologize for things that weren’t even your fault. I don’t miss the struggle you thought you had to make to be considered beautiful. I don’t miss the way you constantly needed other peoples approval. I don’t miss the way you let people walk all over you, and I certainly don’t miss the way you used to give everything you had until there was nothing left to give, not even to yourself. I don’t miss you.

Honestly, looking back now I feel bad for you. I wish the years you spent struggling were different, I wish I could’ve helped you then. I wish I could have changed you. But, it feels good to know I’m a better me now because of everything you went through. I never really got the chance to say goodbye to you, but I hope you find it in yourself to forgive me for wanting to leave you behind. The girl you were is gone. Since then, you have fallen in and out of love, you have felt the unbearable pain of a heartbreak, you’ve lost friends and family members, and your plans for your future have changed immensely. It saddens me to say that you grew up so fast, but without the things you went through I’m not sure I’d be so strong. You made mistakes, you learned from them.

I really do need you to know some things though, things I have wanted to tell you for so long.

The first thing I want you to know is that you shouldn’t worry so much. I know life is rough and things are pretty wild, but life is a roller coaster ride of emotions and you’ll figure things out along the way. I know it’s hard to sit back and let things happen but I want you to stop fighting for things that you cannot change. Stop wasting so much time on people and things that don’t and won’t matter later on in life. You’ll be able to enjoy yourself so much more if you learn to let go.

You’re beautiful, whether you think so or not. From your thick hair to the uniqueness of your name, you are like no one else. Your looks shouldn’t define you now and they definitely aren’t going to define you later. Your beauty falls deeper than the makeup you have and the way you wear your hair, it is who you are as a person that shows just how beautiful you really are. I know some days it’s hard to believe, but I promise you that you are truly stunning.

Everything happens for a reason. That best friend that left you? She’s not worth it. The bad grade you got on that quiz? The stress isn’t worth it. The boy that left you crying that night? Definitely not worth it. Learn to accept everything that life throws at you. I promise you the things happening now will not be important later on in life. Don’t dwell on the “could haves,” think about the “what’s nexts.”

Things will get better, trust me. I know things right now might not exactly prove that to you but they will. You have such a bright future ahead of you there is absolutely no time to be stuck on things that are only going to hold you back. Live in the moment and give everything you love your all, as long as it won’t drain you of your happiness.

Last but not least, you come first. You are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for. I wish nothing but the world for you, and I hope you find that soon. You should be your number one priority. Take care of yourself, love yourself, and be yourself. You are so worried about making others happy that you are forgetting about your happiness. I promise putting yourself first isn’t selfish as long as it’s for the right reasons. Be genuine and do not let anyone change who you are.

I love who you’ve become. I love the young woman with bright eyes and hair just the way you like it. I love the nights you spend laughing with real friends. I love the way you have started to help people with their problems rather than blame yourself for them. I love the way you don’t apologize for anything unless what’s happening is actually your fault. I love that you have accepted your flaws and have realized just how perfectly imperfect you are. I love that you have stopped looking for others approval. I love that you stand up to your demons and you have become a brick wall that no one can break down, and I certainly love the way you put your all into everything you love without ever losing your happiness. I love who you’ve become.